Some tweaking tips for Linux Mint 13 - MATE edition

In my article about 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 13, I have included some tips to customize Linux Mint 13. Here are some more tips and tricks for you to tweak Linux Mint 13 - MATE edition.

1 - Edit the applications list in the Mint Menu

To customize the applications list, right click on the menu icon and select "Edit Menu"

customize Linux Mint menu

The menu configuration window will open, on which you just need to check or uncheck the applications on the list to make them shown in the applications list:

How to customize Linux Mint menu

2 - Make the Mint Menu always show the Favorites list when open

By default, the Mint Menu will show either the Favorites list or the Applications list when starting, depending on the last session. To make the Mint Menu always show the Favorite list when open, you hit Alt+F2 then type mateconf-editor to open the mate configuration window:

How to customize Mint menu

In the mate configuration window, you go to apps > MintMenu then check the line "start_with_favorites" and after that, the Mint Menu will always show the Favorites list when you open it up:

 customize Mint menu

3 - Make the dictionary work

If you start the Dictionary of Linux Mint ( Menu>  Office > Dictionary) you will see this error ( replace "lulz" with your username):

Linux Mint 13 tips and tricks

Fixing this error to make the dictionary work is very easy. Just hit Alt + F2 or open the terminal and run the following command:
 mkdir .mate2  

And you can use the dictionary now:

Linux Mint tips and tricks

4 - Make the dictionary work offline

By default, the dictionary only works online but you can make it work offline easily with a little tweaking. Just open the terminal and run the following command:
 sudo apt-get install dictd dict-gcide  

Next, open the dictionary then go to Edit > Preferences

Linux Mint tips

On Source tab of the the Preference window, click the Add button:

You will have the Add Dictionary Source window, just give it a description and change the hostname from into

Click the Add button and you will go back to the Preferences window, on which you just need to select the Offline Dictionary Source to use the dictionary offline:

Related link: Linux offline dictionary
5 - Change the default folder of screenshots

When you take a screenshot in Linux Mint 13, a window will appear to ask you to save the screenshot. The default folder is the desktop. As I always want my desktop to be clean, I prefer a separate folder for the screenshots ( ~/Pictures/Screenshots). To change the screenshot folder, you hit Alt+F2, type mateconf-editor to open the Mate Configuration window. On which you go to apps > mate-screenshot then edit the line "last_save_directory":

After that, whenever you hit the Print screen key to take a screenshot, it will prompt you to save the image in the new folder:

6 - Enable fortune sayings in the terminal

In the older releases of Linux Mint ( for example: Linux Mint 11), when you open the terminal, an animal will appear and say some funny quotes. The applications to do that trick are fortune and cowsay. In Linux Mint 12 and 13, this feature is still included but disabled by default. Here is how to re-enable this feature:

Hit Alt+F2 and run "mintdesktop" and the desktop settings window will open. Select the Terminal tab and check the "Show fortune cookies" option:

After that, whenever you open the terminal, there will be a random quote appearing. Here is an example:

7 - Change the position of the notification pop-up

The default position of the notification pop up in Linux Mint 13 ( MATE) is the bottom right corner and I think it is quite unintuitive. I believe we normally pay more attention to the top of the screen than to the bottom.

To change the position of the notification popup, hit Alt+F2 and run " mate-notification-properties" to open the notification settings window. On that window you can select the theme and the position of the notification popup.

Here is the result, the notification popup got a new theme and a new position:

8 - Change the background of the file manager

If you still use the default Mint X theme, the color of the background of the file manager is white, which doesnt fit with the silver color of the theme, in my opinion. If you know what you are doing, you can edit the gtk theme. However, there is an easier way to change the background of the file manager.

Open the file manager then go to Edit > Backgrounds and Emblems:

The Backgrounds and Emblems window will open, on which you can choose either a pattern of a color for the background of the file manager. Just click on a pattern or a color and drag it into the file manager background. In the screenshot below, I use the Apparition color:


These are 8 little tweaking things I've done on my Linux Mint 13 box. Hope you guys find them useful.
linux tips and tricks